Dalton Smith: Missing the Mark, Eddie Hearn Sees Red

By Daniel Mcglinchey - 03/23/2024 - Comments

Promoter Eddie Hearn and Dalton Smith (16-0, 12 KOs) didn’t appear to be on the same page on Saturday night after Dalton’s fifth-round knockout over journeyman Jose Zepeda (37-5, 28 KOs) at the Sheffield Arena in Sheffield, England.

After Smith stopped Zepeda with a right-hand body shot in the fifth round, he immediately called Adam Azim. The look on Hearn’s gob when Dalton said that was like he’d flubbed it up. That’s NOT the fight that Hearn wants for Dalton.

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Hearn’s face said it all, ‘You blew it, Dalton.’ He had the spotlight on him, and he should have taken advantage of it by calling out the winner of the April 20th Devin Haney vs. Ryan Garcia fight for the WBC title. Hearn looked like he needed a stiff drink after Dalton spoiled things for him by calling out Azim.

Dalton’s Puzzling Goals

Instead, Dalton went rogue, calling out Adam Azim, who isn’t world-level and little more than a prospect at best. Where’s the ambition? Dalton is about to turn 28 and showing no motivation to fight at the world level. The confidence is not there with Dalton.

You can’t call Jose Zepeda world-level, considering he’s not ranked in the top 15 by any of the alphabet organizations and came into tonight’s contest with a sorrowful 1-2 record.

He wants him to go after the WBC light welterweight world title next against Devin Haney, as that’s where the life-changing money is at for Dalton, not by by fighting EBU 140-lb strap holder Azim. That’s more domestic-level and there’s no green in that match-up.

Where’s the Hunger, Dalton?

“I just showed where I belong tonight,” said Dalton Smith, reveling in his fourth-round knockout win over journeyman Jose Zepeda in Sheffield, England. “If I switched off for one second time, you could see what Jose does. He puts people to sleep.

“I don’t call many names out, but Adam Azim, where you are? That European title is what I want.”

“What was a world-class performance,” said Eddie Hearn about Smith. “That was a major statement at the world level. “He said, ‘I want to work my way to a WBC world championship. I believe we’ve done that. We’re going to go in the top five.

“This young man is 16-0, well on his way to a world championship shot. What we want to do is chase the world championship, but we will drop down the levels to fight Adam Azim if we have to give Sheffield a big fight.

“Right now, Adam Azim couldn’t lace this man’s boots. We’re going for the world championship. Get out of the way, we’re coming through,” said Hearn about Dalton.

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